Did you know that there are multiple versions of the Beatitudes? You are probably familiar with the ones in the Bible that Jesus said as part of the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
But are you familiar with another version? It’s not printed anywhere, but it is a a gospel that is preached all the time in many different ways. It’s preached in our culture, on TV, on the internet, at our workplaces, in our discussions, on our movie screens, in our conversations, in our politics, in the speeches we hear, and so many more places.
Is it any wonder that we have a culture that is the way it is? Someone asked me why the sermon’s in church don’t make as big of an impact as they should – especially when people are nodding their heads while they are listening. Here’s the reality – a 10-15 minute sermon is supposedly trying to counteract the effect of a person being exposed to the other set of beatitudes for 6-7 days a week. If there was any doubt that Christianity means a change of heart, then that last stat should hit you hard. You can’t make that change on your own – only with God’s help. How else could you possibly see the actual Gospel and recognize the false gospel that is constantly preached.
And for those interested in one of these alternate versions of the Beatitudes, here is one version:
Blessed is the wealthy, for they already own the kingdom of earth.
Blessed are those to protest mourners, for they will garner news headlines and get lots of attention.
Blessed are the whiners, for they will annoy many.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for power, for they will destroy people in their way to be filled.
Blessed are the egotistical, for they will be unable to see anything outside of themselves.
Blessed are the narcissistic, for they will believe they are God.
Blessed are the warmongers, for they will be called patriots.
Blessed are the prosecutors of microagressions, for theirs is a life of constant victimhood.
Blessed are you when people follow you and repost/retweet you and utter all kinds of things about what you post on social media. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in social media and 15 minutes of fame, for in the same way, the crowd reposted and retweeted the celebrities who were before you.